Richard Ducote Thanks NOFSW for Sol Gothard Award

Click here to read Sol Gothard’s tribute to Richard Ducote

Thank You, National Organization of Forensic Social Work

Richard Ducote

          I deeply appreciate your Sol Gothard Lifetime Achievement Award given me on April 17.   Judge Gothard’s support, confidence, and encouragement throughout my career were indispensable, and I thank him for the 36 years I have known him.  NOFSW could not have selected a more iconic figure to embody lifetime achievement than Judge Gothard, who has always led a life of service, humanity, scholarship, leadership, inspiration, and courage.  Few judges have so boldly challenged their own ranks to shed the bias, ignorance, complacency, and lethargy which have gravely disserved the abused, battered, and troubled appearing before them for redress daily.  Now, long after his “retirement,” he continues to energize and shape the practical and intellectual debates confronting all of us in the classrooms and courtrooms, with the same acuity and wit endearing him to us for decades.

I also thank Dr. Viola Vaughan-Eden for nominating me, and for bringing to the field- locally, nationally, and internationally- a whirlwind of competence, integrity, and professional coalescence.

So many are indebted to forensic social workers.  Child sexual abuse victims would still be chained by the misguided Freudian psychiatrists, were it not for pioneering insightful social workers in the early 70’s.  Special needs adoption would likewise be an alien notion, and effective therapeutic intervention for the traumatized would not exist, were it not for those in your profession.

I thank you again for this honor, and hope to continue to work with you in the years ahead.